Riverkeeper : Before you swim, make choices based on water quality patterns

Riverkeeper and our partners sample 400 locations at least monthly to provide data that guide decision-making both by policy makers and individuals.

Take action today
Tell your New York State legislators to counteract Trump Administration rollbacks, and support the protection of streams and wetlands. The Hudson is only as healthy as the streams and wetlands that feed it.

Swim – with care
Our interactive maps can help you learn about water quality in your area throughout the season. Even if there is no data for a particular location where you may enter the Hudson River, our analysis of nearly 5,000 water samples shows patterns that can guide decisions. These pie charts show the percentage of Hudson River Estuary sites sampled in each category that, based on federal safe swimming criteria, are: 

  • generally safe (green)
  • unsafe after rain (yellow)
  • generally unsafe (red)

Mid Channel
Based on Riverkeeper’s Hudson River data from samples taken from our patrol boat, the deeper, well-mixed part of the river away from its shores would have generally met safe swimming criteria, except near and downstream from combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in the Capital District and New York City.

Near Shore
Based on Riverkeeper’s Hudson River data, water quality near city and village waterfronts is most likely to be affected by street runoff and sewer overflows, while shorelines that are less developed generally have shown less impact from rain.

Tidal Tributaries
Based on Riverkeeper’s Hudson River data, the smaller creeks and rivers that feed the Hudson have had more risky water quality, both in their tidal portions and at their confluence with the river. Tributary water quality has often been dramatically affected by rain, particularly where Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) are present.

Tributaries (Non-tidal)
Based on thousands of samples gathered by Riverkeeper’s community science partners, water quality in the creeks and rivers that feed the Hudson is generally riskier than in the Hudson itself. That said, water quality varies significantly among the Hudson’s tributaries. We have recently published water quality reports summarizing data on each of 11 Hudson River tributaries.
Learn more by viewing our new 2019 Hudson River Water Quality Poster!